An underground wire locator instrument helps in accurately locating the path of the underground wires. It also measures the accurate depth of the invisible underground wires. An underground wire locator comprises two parts – a transmitter and a receiver. An AC generator that supplies the signal current to the underground cable to be traced is a transmitter. The transmitter may typically set the signal at a particular frequency.
The transmitter places an electrical signal on the traced cable, while that signal is picked up by the receiver, allowing the locator operator to track the direction of the signal and follow the located cable.
There are many models of underground cable locators on the market. If you are wondering what is the best underground wire locator?
In this article, we will be looking at some of the best underground wire locators available in the market with detailed specifications including the advantages and disadvantages.
First, we’ll be looking at the Leica DD 230 SMART Utility Locators Solution. This tool is designed to automatically identify underground assets deeper, faster, and more accurately. All of these tools come with the state of the art latest DX Shield software.
Leica DD 230 Smart Utility Locators Solution
This is the only tool available in the market which is the complete portfolio of detection solutions for utility professionals and anyone who is breaking ground. The Leica DD SMART utility locator series uses industry-leading digital signal processing to give you the most accurate results. The DD220/230 SMART locators are scalable and designed with the latest Bluetooth technology, providing a wire-free connection to field controllers and mobile devices. To be more productive and efficient, this is our best choice for underground wire locators.
Another product we will be looking at is Leica DD 220 SMART Utility Locators Solution. This is another great underground wire locator from Leica.
Leica DD 220 Smart Utility Locator
This product is slightly cheaper than the 230 series but comes with almost all the functionality of the same. You can consider this product if you don’t require the accuracy of the 230 series.
Understanding the basic principles of an underground wire locator is important. It will prepare you to effectively use Leica’s underground wire locators. It will enhance your ability to determine target location, target depth, and tracing distance. There are two methods of underground wire and pipe location. Both of which require the underground wire to conduct electricity. It simply means they must be metallic.
Active locating is regarded as the first method. Since a transmitter is used to impose an electric current on the piper cable to circulate. For detecting the field produced by the current, a receiver is used.
The second technique is referred to as passive locating. Because a field formed by the current that is already circulating on the cable is identified by the receiver. It does not need any transmitter.
Active locating allows you to build an electrical circuit that can flow through the current. This can be done with three different forms of connections.
The three connecting active modes are direct. Also known as conductive, inductive, and inductive clamps. The direct mode generates the greatest amount of current and increases the success of localization. Less current is generated by the inductive clamp mode. But when the lack of access to the underground pipe or wire prevents you from using the direct mode, it’s a reasonable option.
First, take the clip attached to the red cable. Apply it directly to the wire you are trying to locate. Make sure there is a good metal-to-metal contact.
The next step is to position a ground stake as close to 90 degrees as possible to the expected line location path. Press the stake deep into the ground to increase surface contact with the soil.
Once the ground stake is in position, apply the clip attached to the black cable to the ground stake. This is to complete the circuit. It’s important to complete the circuit by properly implementing aground. In general the better the ground the better the signal.
Now a current will flow through underground wire. As the signal travels it gradually leaks into the ground and diminishes the further it gets from the transmitter. One of the keys to getting a good signal is applying the proper frequency.
If conditions are good, good conductor connections, and soil conditions. The current will travel farther at the lowest frequency with less leakage to adjacent structures. An increase in frequency will cause the signal to leak sooner and cover less distance. As a rule, always start with the lowest frequency possible.
Gradually increase it as needed. Remember at higher frequencies, the current will leak to the ground quicker. Which might impact your ability to locate underground utilities.